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Life Sciences

Life Sciences

Innovation is in our DNA

With world-class expertise across a spectrum of innovation industries, Canadian life sciences hubs are a natural draw for conferences across a wide range of sub-sectors. When combined with Canada’s vast landscapes, diverse cities and culture, dynamic culinary and nightlife experiences, and unique opportunities to explore groundbreaking ideas, it’s easy to understand why organizations around the world choose Canadian locations to host their global life sciences events.

Canadian trailblazers in a host of emerging life sciences industries are shaping the future of work, health-care, culture and society. When conference-goers meet in our innovation hubs, they can tap into Canada’s brain trust, connect with some of our brightest minds and thought leaders, preview made-in-Canada solutions to the world’s greatest health concerns, and explore Canadian treatments, therapies and technologies powering the future of health-care during conferences, symposia, B2B exchanges, lab tours and more. And when top performers are recognized and rewarded with Canada’s unparalleled destinations and distinctive experiences, they’ll return home refreshed and inspired, ready to perform.

Life Sciences in Canada


Annual pharmaceutical manufacturing production, from December 2018 to November 2019.

Source: Statistics Canada, 2018-2019


In pharmaceutical sales in 2017.

Source: Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB), 2017


Among G7 countries for available engineers.

Source: Global Affairs Canada, 2018 


The world’s 2nd largest number of biotechnology companies are concentrated in Canada.

Source: Pitchbook, 2020

Centres of excellence

Canada's key Life Sciences centres

The exterior of a Canadian building with modern architecture

"There is significant opportunity for event planners to leverage Calgary’s world-class research assets and clinical expertise in life sciences. The University of Calgary is a leader in brain and mental health, biomedical engineering, chronic diseases and cardiovascular research. This, along with the impressive advancements being made in digital health services by local companies such as Brightsquid, position Calgary as a leader in the life sciences field and an ideal destination for an event in this sector."

David Woodward, Executive Director, Meetings & Conventions Tourism Calgary

Canadian success stories

The Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Healthicons.external-link-icon in Winnipeg is a global leader in infectious diseases laboratory science and the first facility in the world to have both human and animal containment level 4 (CL4) labs under one roof.

Halifax is home to ABK Biomedicalicons.external-link-icon, a medical device company dedicated to improving treatment options for patients with hypervascular tumours.

In Toronto, clinical trials are underway to validate the use of Myant’s Skiinicons.external-link-icon, a textile-based monitoring solution, as a medical device to usher in a new paradigm in remote patient monitoring in health-care.

The Brain and Mental Health Initiativeicons.external-link-icon at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary uses the clot-busting drug tPA to reduce stroke treatment time from 70 minutes to 36 minutes, among the fastest in the world for stroke treatments.

Montréal’s ExcellTheraicons.external-link-icon is a clinical stage cell and molecular medicine company, delivering molecules and bioengineering solutions to expand stem and immune cells for use in novel one-time therapies for patients with hematologic malignancies, as well as autoimmune and other diseases.

Among the full complement of cell biology research tools in STEMCELL Technologies’icons.external-link-icon Vancouver arsenal is CAR T-cell therapy, a rapidly emerging immunotherapy that seeks out and destroys cancerous cells to effectively target and treat types of leukemia.

AltaMLicons.external-link-icon, an Edmonton software company developing AI, and doctors associated with the Oliver Primary Care Network are working with pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim Canada Ltd.icons.external-link-icon to develop a frailty index that clinicians can use to predict chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and mental health conditions.

Syantra Diagnosticsicons.external-link-icon in Calgary is developing a revolutionary, rapid and economical blood test to detect breast cancer that is accurate regardless of the test recipient's family history, age or tissue density.

In 2020, Dr. Michael Houghton, the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Virology, at the University of Alberta, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the hepatitis C virus.

InteraXon, in Toronto, developed brainwave-sensing technology for applications like the Museicons.external-link-icon meditation headband.

By automating the delivery of oxygen to patients, Oxynovicons.external-link-icon, based in Québec City, is preparing to create a revolution in health-care with its device developed at the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec (IUCPQ).

Immunovaccine, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company in Halifax, is working to transform the way we engage human immunity to address some of the most complex and devastating diseases in today’s medical landscape, including COVID-19.

BioTraceIT™icons.external-link-icon, developed in Charlottetown, focuses on novel technologies at the cutting edge of wearable health-care to quantify pain.

Here's how we can help you get planning

The team at Destination Canada Business Events helps global organizations meet with purpose in Canada. Contact our team for:

  • Specific information regarding Canada's sector expertise
  • Recommendations on destinations based on their sector strengths
  • Introductions to industry leaders, academia, and economic development agencies
  • Recommendations of expert speakers to augment events
  • Assistance in sourcing RFPs for conference placement

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